Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Las Vegas: The New Ibiza

Welcome Guest Writer, World Traveler and HugePartier... Brad Nolan

HugeParty Travel is delighted to welcome someone we consider to be a Master of the Ultra Party. I've known Brad since college and have followed his brag-worthy travel/party exploits over the years. 

Brad (left) with Legendary DJ Kaskade

We are fortunate here at HPT to have Brad provide expert knowledge on Las Vegas, as he travels there frequently, and was a resident of Sin City in 2009. Take it away Brad...

Is Las Vegas a HugeParty? Vegas is #1.

Thank you to Ben for the opportunity to drop some knowledge about Las Vegas for you all. The rumors are true, I've been to Las Vegas.... a lot. Instead of writing about a specific trip I figured I'd collapse all of my experiences into one post. 

Vegas Baby!

Vegas Rule #1: What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. In this case, those rules don't apply, as I share my travel tips with you.

Read more after the jump!!!

Where to Stay?

Vegas Rule #2: If you’re spending too much time in your room, you’re doing Vegas wrong.

Location is key in Vegas. 
Basically, think strategically when choosing your hotel. Be close to the pools, casinos, clubs you intend on frequenting. No further than stumbling distance.

In my opinion:  
Nicest hotels: Encore, Cosmo, Wynn | Cheap “Nice” hotels: MGM Grand, Mirage, Excalibur

Vegas Has Something For Everyone

There is so much to explore in Vegas.  I could sit here and tell you the obvious, such as the Bellagio fountains, eating at the Eiffel Tower, etc. Vegas is the type of environment where you should just get out on the strip and start exploring.

Encore Beach Club!
The best part about Vegas is that there is something for everyone.  From shows (LOVE by the Beatles at The Mirage is the best show in town, hands down), to Michelin star dining (Joel Robuchon at MGM/The Mansion), to endless nightlife.

Vegas is #1

What to Expect?

  • Busy Airport The Airport will be busy depending on when you arrive. Busy season is March-October, UFC/Boxing weekends, and of course NYE. Cab lines can be long and annoying, but if you go during EDC weekend especially, planning transportation ahead would be the most convenient and time saving. Nobody wants to spend an hour in a cab line.  
  • Hidden Gems! Hidden gems in Vegas would include Ellis Island on Koval (behind MGM Grand). They have a $6 meal which includes a huge steak, mashed potatoes, a salad and a 20 oz beer. Some of the best casual restaurants to go to before going out to the clubs would be LAVO at The Palazzo and STK at the Cosmo. Both places have a very fun mood/vibe set before a night of partying.  
  • Cost Cost is defined by what you want to experience in Vegas. If you want to drink in lobby bars and relax in the casino, you can. If you want to blow it up with bottles of Ace, you can. Lobby bars are expensive, so I suggest going to the ABC Liquor store inside the Planet Hollywood shops. One of the best (and affordable) steakhouse’s in Vegas is actually located at Circus Circus (i’m serious). The Greek seafood place, Estiatorio Milos, inside of the Cosmo has one of the best lunch deals ever. $20 for an app, entree and dessert.
  • Avoid!!! The Palms, Tropicana and Botero. Nothing is going on at The Palms anymore and it is too far away from the other hotels. Tropicana is also quite boring with nothing going on and nothing to see. Botero Steakhouse in the Encore is overpriced and nothing special.

Daylife and Nightlife: My HugeParty Recommendations

Vegas Rule #3: The Day clubs are more popular than the Night clubs.

During the Daytime...

Laidback Luke at Wet Republic
  • Encore Beach ClubThe most comfortable and fun day club experience you can have in Vegas. The staff is great, tons of bars at different points so you don’t have to spring for a cabana or daybed. Very easy to walk up to the bar in the far back by the gaming area for a drink or 10.
  • Wet RepublicThis one can be a coin flip. If you’re a single guy and want to meet girls, I would highly suggest to go here when Calvin Harris plays. He draws the most girls out of any DJ in Vegas. Wet used to be one of my favorites, but it’s so packed in there and the bar lines can be very long.
  • Marquee Day ClubIt’s much smaller than the other day clubs, but it has a great vibe. They also make sure everyone always leaves with a souvenir (shirt, sunglasses, visor or hat). On days when Kaskade plays the club will be busier than most and it’s definitely a HUGE party!  (Protip: If you hang out by the back bar after Kaskade’s performs he will take pics and chat with fans after he's done).
DJ Booth at Encore Beach Club with Steve Angello & my friend Anna

During the Nighttime...

DJ Booth at XS with Kaskade on Halloween
  • XS - The best nightclub experience in Vegas, no questions asked. From the vibe of the club, to the classy atmosphere you really cannot have a bad time in this place. I’ve never left disappointed, so to me, this is the HUGE party at night in Vegas. Obviously getting a table would be clutch, as the cheaper tables are outside in the summer months, and pricier tables are inside and around the dance floor. They have some huge talent as well like the DJs that also play at Encore Beach Club.
  • HakkasanAgain, just like Wet Republic, they draw a endless amount of girls for Calvin Harris and the lines can be enormous to get in. Another one you should purchase tickets for in advance. The place is massive with many levels, and it would definitely be a place to spring for a table. HOWEVER, I would avoid this place as they charge a ridiculous entertainment tax on top of their tables.
  • LightSomewhat newer, but not as busy as the other clubs at all times. The LED wall in this club and sound system are insane and worth the visit alone. Tables aren’t really necessary here and there are several bars scattered to where you would find a comfortable place to have drinks and enjoy the music.
  • SurrenderThey utilize the same DJs/residencies as XS and have a great venue setup since they use Encore Beach Club as well. Tables aren’t as pricey as XS nor are tickets. Dance floor area can get busy, but plenty of room outside to relax on unused tables/daybeds with friends.
  • LiFe @ SLS Hotel - A cool new spot to check out if you want to get away from the typical EDM crowd/scene that’s all over Vegas.

DJ booth at Surrender with Porter Robinson, Steve Aoki & my friend Mackenzie

Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC)

Every June since 2011, Vegas has been hosting the biggest electronic music festival in the US, Electric Daisy Carnival. Hotels and flights fill up fast, as it has become a bigger weekend (now it lasts a full week) for income in the city than NYE. They might even be expanding it to 2 weekends in the future. If you like to rave, go to Vegas during EDC.

Want to know what it's like to party at EDC? Watch this video.

Downtown Vegas

Vegas Rule #4: Don't sleep on the downtown (non-strip) scene.

Always fun and great experience if you want to journey away from the strip. There are lots of fun places to eat at like Pizza Rock & Le Thai (nice patio and awesome food). Small bars like Beauty Bar, Insert Coins (video games and beers!) and Gold Spike (cheap drinks and life size board games including jenga, and life sized beer pong with garbage cans and a basketball!). You can also go ziplining and check out some of the oldest casinos in Vegas like the Golden Nugget! 

Downtown Vegas, worth the trip!

HugeParty Quote

"I love Las Vegas. I like that Las Vegas has everything. Everything and anything you want to do, you can do in Las Vegas." - Drew Carey

Be sure to Follow Brad on Twitter and Instagram @Brad_Nolan

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1 comment:

  1. Las Vegas is a huuuge party center. Do you have any suggestions where to stay at as a hotel? I tried searching for some offers at http://www.reservationcounter.com/hotel/las-vegas/, but honestly I can't decide.


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